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Wildfood.info • View topic - Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Down below the coffee shop is the cellar. Perfect for keeping the home made tipples a bit stronger than coffee or tea :-)

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Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » May 30th, 2016, 5:09 pm

I've been chatting with Kacey on another thread about good places to drink ale and beers I've had recently that I've really enjoyed. Personally, I'm really into super hoppy US and New Zealand style IPAs. Particular favourites are Marbles Antipodean and Howgate & Kemp and I recently enjoyed their Built to Fall US style beer. I was also lucky enough to get hold of a bottle of Cloudwater's limited run DIPA v3, a dangerously drinkable 9% beer :lol:

I've recently started getting into stouts and porters though after trying a couple of tasty examples at an event I went to for the Manchester Food & Drink Festival last year. Bean Brothers espresso stout brewed in collaboration with Squawk was a particular favourite and I also enjoy Magic Rock's coffee porter. I also tried and enjoyed Kernel's Export India Porter on the recommendation of my local beer shop.

I realised I know a fair bit about Manchester's beer scene but not as much about beers from other parts of the U.K. and worldwide. If you like craft beer or real ale, please share your suggestions! I'm going to a beer festival on Friday so it would be good to know particular brewers or beers to look out for!
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby scullion » May 30th, 2016, 7:28 pm

i rather like for a stout.
other ales i like include:
, though i've not had it in a tin before.
a very nice otter brewery one that i can't remember the name of - i'll let you know in a couple of weeks.
but my favourite is . skinners also do one my partner prefers called 'heligan honey' which i can't see on their site and one that maybe they don't advertise on there called ginger tosser. he also likes atlantic brewery's "atlantic blue' and 'atlantic gold'
st austell brewery's 'tribute' is my son's and son outlaw's favourite - also good.
there's an adnams i rather like, too, but i can't remember the name of the brew.
if you're ever in st agnes, , a pub down at trevaunance has its own and you can order a tasting menu of the ales on tap. they also host a sausage and ale festival in the spring and another (i think) later in the year.
i do like a good brew!


the person to ask is kavey's pete or look on his site, .
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Kacey » May 30th, 2016, 8:09 pm

My favourite porter has to be Titanic Plum Porter, a very tasty 4.9% abv porter brewed in Staffordshire. A glorious beer, very very moreish. It's on permanently upstairs at the Wellington in Birmingham and we often call in just before our last bus home for a swift pint to finish the night off.

I haven't been a fan of smoky porters but have recently had a couple on keg in The Brink and in Beermoth Cafe both in Manchester - somehow the temperature of a keg beer and the extra bit of fizz seems to lift the smokiness and makes it absolutely delicious. The one I had in the Brink was particularly good but annoyingly I didn't make a note of the name and just can't remember it.

If you see it, try Highgate Mild - brewed in Walsall, not a porter but a really good dark mild.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » May 30th, 2016, 8:15 pm

We have a bottle of Cheshire smokehouse porter but haven't opened it yet. I've been drinking more keg beer than cask ale recently. I find the chilled temperature goes well with the hoppy beers I prefer. When we go to 57 Thomas Street we tend to stay downstairs in the keg bar and don't bother with the cask upstairs.

I'll look out for the plum porter. I've definitely seen it at a few beer festivals. I had a nice mild at Stalybridge buffet bar yesterday but sadly I've forgotten what it was!
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » May 30th, 2016, 8:17 pm

Actually I just had a look on their Facebook page and it looks like it was Empire Moon Rakers mild.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Kacey » May 30th, 2016, 8:23 pm

Here are some other interesting beers I've had recently with my tasting notes at the time - not always concise I'm afraid.

Brauerei Heller - Aecht Sclenkerla Fastenbier 5.5% smoky dark German beer.
Black Jack - Red Rye Saison 7% red beer, has a taste of aniseed or liquorice
Mikkeller - Usalive! 8% Copenhagen: red coloured beer, strong on American hops, no sweetness just big flavour, delicious.
Brewing by numbers - Session IPA 3.8% Gorgeous low abv American hop style ale, very tasty and very drinkable
Seven Brothers - Session 3.8 amazingly tastes of peas and green things but very very good!
Brew by numbers: 01-09 Saison hibiscus & camomile - gorgeous floral beer, quite tart too, delicious
Schneider Weiss: Marie's Rendezvous - dark molasses, toffee meets Erdinger, lovely.
Broueru du Ranke: xx Bitter 6.2% delicious, Erdinger cubed, v,v good, strong without the sweetness.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » May 30th, 2016, 8:30 pm

Will look out for the Blackjack. Think I've seen it in the Beermoth shop. Seven Brothers are opening a bar in Ancoats which should be good.

Love Mikkeller. Spent a fortune in their bar when we visited Copenhagen. Will keep an eye out for the others you've mentioned too!

Scullion- I used to spend a fair bit of time in Somerset and Devon (ex's mum lived near Taunton) and enjoyed a few of Otter's beers. Loved the glasses too! I'd forgotten all about them!
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Kacey » May 30th, 2016, 8:31 pm

I've done some digging and the gorgeous porter I had at Brink was Torrside 'Centennial'. We've had Torrside beers at the Smithfield and Beermoth cafe, it's a Derbyshire brewery so must pay special attention in a few weeks to see what I can find. I agree Smitch that keg craft beer is becoming more interesting, in Beermoth we start with the cask beers and finish with the keg as they're so good.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby EmWilk » May 30th, 2016, 8:35 pm

Smitch, I have no idea about craft beers at the best of times, let alone whilst 30 weeks pregnant! But... I follow someone on twitter and instagram who is into food bit moreso into craft beers and real ales and often goes travelling round the country (and abroad) in search of more. As they're both public accounts, I don't imagine he'd mind me passing his handle on for you to get some ideas and inspiration.... neilbontoft on both insta and twitter I think.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby StokeySue » May 31st, 2016, 12:25 pm

Unfortunately I can't drink cask or bottle conditioned ales as the yeast upsets my tummy
So I stick to ones that are well filtered, hand pumped is OK in moderation, keg is safer

I'm with smitch on the IPAs, especially the American style
My favourite beer to drink with food is Thornton's Jaipur IPA, nice with almost anything

I also like the Cornish Doom Bar, which is widely sold round here
And the Dark Star Ales from Sussex, I like the original Dark Star, the Hophead, and the APA
But they do loads, and they are all good


And not forgetting my local, the Redemption Brewery who I see do a Big Chief IPA I've not had (I've had the Pale Ale and the Hopspur, both good)
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » May 31st, 2016, 12:59 pm

I like Jaipur too. Weirdly, I last had it at an Indian restaurant in Venice! One of the pubs near us has it on tap fairly regularly. I had a Thornbridge bitter at the weekend which wasn't bad at all considering it isn't my usual style.

Not too keen on Doom Bar although when I've had it in Cornwall I've enjoyed it. I think maybe the pub nearest us that has it (we rarely go there as it isn't particularly welcoming) doesn't keep it very well. It is more a cider and lager type pub.

I'll keep an eye out for the others you mention.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Seatallan » May 31st, 2016, 2:16 pm

Can I put in a vote for the Loddon Brewery? (Loddonbrewery.com)

My very favorite beer of all time is Loweswater Gold (of which I drunk copious amounts last week being as we were just up the road from the pub that originally brewed it- the Kirkstile Inn. It's brewed in Hawkshead now). The brewery is cumbrianlegendaryales.com and all their beers are fab. :chops: :chops:
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » May 31st, 2016, 3:02 pm

This is the beer festival I'm going to:


Not had chance to properly look through the list yet, although I've spotted my favourite Marble beer is on, as is Loweswater Gold. I'll definitely give it a go!
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby StokeySue » May 31st, 2016, 3:07 pm

And let us not forget the Greenwich Meantime Ales, thugh I think they may have got to big for their boots, not really craft any more they aren't bad at all (Horrible website)
[url]
https://www.meantimebrewing.com/our-beers/[/url]
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Seatallan » May 31st, 2016, 5:14 pm

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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Kacey » May 31st, 2016, 5:24 pm

Some good stuff on that beer list Smitch, wish I was going. We're finding lately that the Midlands festivals are a bit stuck with too much mediocre local beers and not enough new and unusual and far flung.

We do however love this festival http://birminghambeerbash.co.uk/ Its all keg this year and there'll be a lot of really good craft stuff going on. I know you said you're in Nottingham in July, but pencil the dates in for next year - its well worth a train ride to Brum.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » May 31st, 2016, 7:51 pm

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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Kacey » June 4th, 2016, 1:14 pm

Went for a drink with OH after work last night, hopped on a train to Wolverhampton and went to The Great Western, a railway themed pub behind the train station, had a few pints of the excellent Batham's Best Bitter - http://www.bathams.co.uk/our-brews/ - always in good form at the GW. We had a couple of cheese & onion cobs to help soak up the beer, cobs are crusty bread rolls to anyone not familiar and most black country/Midlands pubs will have them. Back in Birmingham, we stopped off at Brewdog and had Elvis Juice - https://www.brewdog.com/beer/amplified/elvis-juice and this on draft - https://www.brewdog.com/item/1454/BrewD ... r-Can.html. Then it was time for home, picking up a bag of chips on the way. Beer and chips - a perfect night!
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » June 4th, 2016, 8:13 pm

Sounds great. We were at the beer festival last night and had a great time. Met up with some friends we hadn't seen for ages. Think my favourite of the night (other than the couple of half pints I had of stuff I already knew I liked. Marble's Howgate & Kemp and Squwak's espresso stout) were VIP from Neepsend which was hopped with 6 different varieties and Track's Sonoma. Seven Brother's IPA was pretty good too. My friend accidentally ended up with half a barley wine and ordered one that contained sourdough so he did set the bar pretty low for the evening :scared: :lol:

It wasn't as crowded as it has been in previous years, maybe more people were sitting outside due to the nice weather. Looking forward to next year! Plus it is Manchester beer week from next weekend and there are some interesting things planned. Think I'll need a few of these :plink: :lol:
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Kacey » June 19th, 2016, 5:01 pm

Yesterday evening/last night we were in the Pretty Bricks (New Inns) Walsall and had these beers:

Everards 'Sunchaser'
Malllinsons - the name escapes me but it was damn good - have tried googling to no avail
Red Willow 'Weightless'

Each beer was excellent with perhaps the Red Willow being the best of the three
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » June 19th, 2016, 8:19 pm

We went to the Hawkshead tap takeover at the Marble Arch last week and had a couple of delicious pints of 5 Hop. I'd forgotten how much I like it.

I also had a tasty US IPA in Gaslamp last week- Headwaters Pale Ale.

I got a few new bottles in the local whole foods shop recently too but I've not tried any of them yet. Will update when I do!
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Kacey » July 24th, 2016, 1:45 pm

Went to Birmingham Beer Bash yesterday evening, all keg and mostly craft beer and independent of CAMRA. We had the following beers:-

Torrside Sandanista 7% - a gorgeous American ipa, very quaffable considering the strength
Torrside Black Star 7.2% - a black IPA, very dark, very hoppy, very good beer!
Sacre Brew Sloe Loris 4.4% - a sloe gin inspired sour beer, lovely
Sacre Brew Wendigo 6% - another intensely hoppy American style ipa, could drink loads of this one!
Thornbridge Lukas Hellas Lager 4.2% - this was the 1st drink we had, we were a bit hot and sticky and wanted something light and refreshing, it was certainly that.
Thornbridge Cocoa Wonderland 6.8% - a big chocolatey dark beer with a bit of burnt sugar and red berries, my 2nd favourite
Mad Hatter TzatzikI Sour 4.5% - exactly what it said, all the flavours of yogurt, cucumber and mint in a sour beer, this was fabulous and the beer of the night for me
Fixed Wheel Pope of Dope 4.7% - for a lemony sour beer the colour was disconcertingly pink but the taste was definitely sour lemons, good but not enough depth for me
Cloudwater Bravo 3.6% - hazy golden yellow. sort of lemon=meringuey sweet and bitter
Pig & Porter Slow & Black 5.1% - this was a tad too smoky for my taste but OH loved it
Pig & Porter Red Spider 5.5% - a red rye ale, bits of herbal and caramel, delicious
Twisted Barrel Wake Up Juice 8.4% - Belgian tripel style, strong, hoppy but a bit too much sweetness for my taste
Green Duck Lazy Pole 4.8% - dry floral, mint, light spice, light lemon citrus - a real quaffer this one!
Green Duck Hoppy Hopkins 4.6% grassy, zesty citrus hop with a bit of yeast

We drank these in thirds, so although it seems like a lot of beer, it was only just over 4 pints total and over quite a long time so its not quite so beer gluttonous as it looks! It was the 4th successful Beer Bash, will definitely be at the 5th next year.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Seatallan » July 24th, 2016, 3:26 pm

OH was delighted to find Everards Tiger on as a guest beer in our local the other day. His little face lit up like a Christmas tree. He reckons it was the first time he'd drunk a pint of Everards in 30 years. :D
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Gruney » August 18th, 2016, 9:05 am

I'm pretty lucky where I live . Just recently two new pubs have opened up - free houses - with speciality beers from all over the country. They're always kept in excellent nick, and have interesting and quite different flavours. I live in Marston's country - "Pedigree".

I have a lot of favourites - some I'd walk a long way for - but if I had to choose the "king" - it would be a pint of well kept Bass.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby cheshire-cheese » February 22nd, 2017, 12:49 pm

There's not an amazing array of beers on tap or draught very close to home, apart from my own produce, so I rely on bottled beer for variety.
On the widely available and affordable side, Aldi have an interesting selection. I am quite partial to the Spill the Beans Coffee Porter.


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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » February 22nd, 2017, 3:43 pm

I'll look out for the coffee porter. I usually drink super hoppy IPAs but I've recently developed a liking for coffee stouts and porters. I particularly like Magic Rock's Common Grounds and Squawk's Bean Brothers Espresso Stout.

My recent drinks have mostly been from Cloudwater. I'm a huge fan of their DIPAs, tried number 12 at their brewtap last week. Also tried their limited run birthday DIPA which was also delicious, as was a sample of a beer called 'making apple pie great again'- a collaboration with another brewer and was apple pie flavoured.

I'm a fan of Magic Rock based in Huddersfield. Their 'Big Dipper' DIPA was one of the best beers I've tasted recently. Have a couple more of their big cans to try at home too.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby cheshire-cheese » February 26th, 2017, 4:57 pm

Although, if you like strong flavours and hop forward beers, there are a few masquerading as craft beer in Aldi that are fairly unexceptional but drinkable beers.


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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Gruney » June 4th, 2017, 4:11 pm

I've just discovered that William Bass was born in the town where I now live.

I like loads of beers, but if I was restricted to one, it would be draught Bass - hands down.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby cheshire-cheese » September 17th, 2017, 7:19 am

I you are ever in Pembrokeshire, Harbwr Brewery in Tenby is worth a visit. I was really pleased with the flavour of their beer. They have a reasonable range to suit different tastes including hop-bombs and mainstream session beer. The thing I like the most about their beer is that, even with the less challenging styles, you get a delicious background grainy taste that sets it apart from macro brews. Nice chaps in there too.


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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Badger's mate » September 17th, 2017, 8:26 am

FWIW, the nicest new beers I've had recently have been dark ales. Titanic Plum porter is lovely, well worth a look out for. That said, I tried a pint of a special reserve version at the GBBF recently and it was disappointing. Best beer for me at the festival was White Knuckle Ride from Belvoir, a 'white chocolate stout'. In the Spring of last year I had the vanilla stout from Binghams and thought it lovely. It went on to win best beer at the 2016 GBBF. Another favourite is Moon Gazer dark mild from the Norfolk Brewhouse. Whether 4.9% counts as 'mild' is a matter of opinion. Not sure (given your location) how well you know the East Anglian brews. Adnams are becoming more widely available and are all good. Woodforde's are well worth checking out too.

Many many years ago, Courage used to brew an Imperial Russian Stout; ten point something ABV, sold in nips like Barley Wine. Indeed it was like a Barley Wine version of Guinness. Don't think they still do it, but there are probably people copying the style. If not, there should be. It was lovely, but (in my youth) I only ever thought it a good idea to have one or two if I'd already had too much Directors...

Very pale, very hoppy beers are not really me, particularly if they're high ABV. Friends rave about Hophead; it's nice enough and I'd have (and have had) a session on it, but the style isn't my favourite. Nothing wrong with a pale beer but they are sometimes the only option. My heart sinks if I go into a bar and all the beers have little jars next to the pumps, 'cos very often they all look like urine samples.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby smitch » September 17th, 2017, 10:07 am

I mentioned before that I'm starting to get into darker beers. Had a lovely imperial coffee stout by Track (based in Manchester) at its launch on Friday. Magic Rock are still a favourite, their limited release dessert bearded lady (stout) versions are lovely, as is their Kentucky Common Grounds coffee Porter aged in whiskey barrels. I've also started drinking sour beers, Buxton make some fab ones but rumour has it they're about to sell out :cry: Quite a few of their staff have left and it all seems a bit odd.

I'm not keen on Titanic's beers, they don't quite work for me. Manchester has a vibrant brewing scene so it can be hard to get hold of beers from elsewhere in the U.K. Northern Monk have released some lovely beers as part their patrons project and I'm still a huge fan of Cloudwater. If you don't like hazy hop bombs they're probably not for you, but they make a lovely DIPA and their pales are good too.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby cheshire-cheese » September 17th, 2017, 10:35 pm

I was passing Buxton recently and dropped by to check out the brewery. All I wanted to do was ask a quick question and all I got was a brief and defensive exchange with a disembodied voice via an intercom by a windowless door.


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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby Badger's mate » September 18th, 2017, 8:23 am

I usually get a polypin in for Christmas. Sometimes one for me, always one for a club meeting. I have had some odd responses when I have tried to order or collect one from one or other of our little local brewers. On one occasion I phoned to book one and agreed the date I would pick it up, phoned that morning to confirm I was coming to pick it up, but on arrival was met by someone grumpy saying it wasn't ready and I should have let them know I wanted one...

On other occasions I have had polypins from another brewery for several years until I was told they don't do them 'and never have'.

On a happier note, we have got some nice local breweries. Rayment's was swallowed by Greene King many years ago, McMullen are still going but are not really appreciated. A few started up in the last 20 years, such as Buntingford, Saffron (Blonde is popular, though I prefer Tiddly Vicar, essentially a copy of Abbot) and Red Squirrel. All have moved, changed hands or modified their operation in some way. Another one is Sawbridgworth. Their Malt Shovel Porter is a good Christmas beer.

Several have popped up in the last few years but are brewing newer styles. New River, Farr's and Three Brewers all make nice beer, even if some of it's golden.. :D

ETA
The Enefeld brewery recently started up on the industrial estate on which I used to work. I have been meaning to try some of their beer but haven't got round tuit.
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Re: Real ale and craft beer reccommendations

Postby earthmaiden » September 18th, 2017, 10:02 am

The Ludlow brewery had a big stand at last week's food festival ... Black Knight just hit the spot for me :chops: . Shame there wasn't more sunshine in which to sit and enjoy it!

http://www.theludlowbrewingcompany.co.u ... =2&P2=&P3=
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